Toddlers can no longer marry in Arkansas; minimum age reinstated
Published: Thursday, April 3, 2008 | 5:22 AM ET
Canadian Press: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas' marriage-age crisis is over.
A law that mistakenly allowed anyone - even toddlers - to marry with parental permission was repealed by a measure signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Mike Beebe.
That ends months of embarrassment for the state and confusion for county clerks.
Legislators didn't realize until after the end of last year's regular session that a law they approved, intended to establish 18 as the minimum age for marriage, instead removed the minimum age to marry entirely.
Some legislators called for a special session last year, saying the error would make it easy for pedophiles to take advantage of the law.
They repealed the botched law, and reinstated 17 as the minimum age to marry for boys and 16 for girls.